Heavy downpour and associated flooding have triggered a sharp rise in dengue cases in Patna (Bihar state), with 231 new reported cases between Friday, September 27, and Saturday, October 5. Since January 2019, 900 cases have been confirmed through the state, including 640 cases in the Patna area.
In Bihar, the death toll due to flooding rose to 97. Parts of the areas of Kankarbagh, Rajendra Nagar, Gardani Bagh, Dak Bungalow, Sk Puri, Patna's low-lying areas were still flooded as of Sunday, October 6. Between Saturday, October 5, and Sunday, October 6, 90 cm (35.4 in) of rain fell over the city.
The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) forecast on Sunday that monsoon rains will retreat from northwestern states after Monday, October 7. The situation should improve in Bihar in the coming days as the waters of Ganga and Punpun rivers recedes. Relief operations are still underway in the affected areas.
Symptoms of dengue fever include fever, headache, muscle and joint pain, fatigue, nausea, and rashes. Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever (DHF) is a potentially deadly complication that is characterized by high fever, the enlargement of the liver, and hemorrhaging.
Heavy rain and flooding are relatively common during the summer monsoon, which usually hits India from July to September.
Over the last decades, deforestation, degradation of water bodies, and climate change have increased the total flood prone area across the country. This year monsoons have already delivered ten percent more rain than the average and are expected to withdraw one month later than usual. According to authorities, 1673 people have been killed nationwide by heavy rain and flooding since June as of Sunday, September 29.
Individuals in the affected areas are advised to monitor local weather reports and to take measures to protect themselves from mosquito bites - e.g. by wearing covering clothing, using insect repellent, and sleeping under mosquito netting or in an air-conditioned room. Avoid areas directly affected by flooding, confirm road conditions and flight reservations before setting out, and adhere to instructions issued by local authorities. Avoid walking or driving through floodwaters; 15 cm (6 in) of running water is enough to knock over an adult.
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